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Education Rocks

At Naval Avenue Elementary School, all the students know that education rocks. A group of 35 up-and-coming singers and dancers are putting on a production at Naval Avenue Elementary. This is the second year the school has produced a musical at the year’s end.

This year’s production, “Education Rocks,” by Teresa Jennings, has a message for the thespians and the audience: education opens the doors to the world.

Stephanie Clark, a second and third grade teacher at the school, once again found herself in the director’s chair. Fellow Naval Avenue Elementary teacher Mark Holman is the co-director.

“This musical is about a bunch of school kids who have come together to tell the audience why they think school is great and is the place to be,” Clark said. The students have been rehearsing twice a week since February to learn the words and tempo to the play. There is a special challenge to this particular one because all the dialogue has to be sung or rapped.

“The music is really upbeat,” she said.

The actors are all in the second through fifth grades.

“The biggest thing is that kids don’t seem to be excited about being here, about being at school,” Clark said. She saw the title of the play, heard a snippet of the a song from the Internet and knew this was the right play to get the students excited about learning.

Now that the lines and songs have been memorized and performed, the only obstacle left to overcome is a bout of stage jitters.

Eleven-year-old Dora Oliver, a fifth-grade seasoned performer — she was in last year’s play, as well — said she was “kinda” a bit nervous about performing on stage. The fear, however, isn’t as bad because she learned a new skill along the way.

“I learned how to rap,” Dora said.

Dora’s fellow actor, 12-year-old Rachelle Cartier, anticipates suffering from a bit of stage fright.

“I’m scared we can mess up, that we could forget the words,” Rachelle said. “But Mrs. Clark says we won’t.”

And what if fright overcomes the ability to remember the words?

“Just keep going,” said 8-year-old, second-grader Zachary Jarvis.

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, at the Naval Avenue Elementary gym. Tickets are $1 at the door.

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